Former solon faces 3rd batch of pork cases; former DSWD chief also charged
Former Cotabato Rep. Gregorio Ipong has been charged with a third set of cases in the Sandiganbayan over the pork barrel scam – this time, with former Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral being named as a coaccused.
The cases filed on Monday by the Office of the Ombudsman concerned the alleged misuse of Ipong’s P9.4 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations in March 2007 for alleged “ghost” livelihood and medical assistance projects.
Prosecutors said Ipong selected Economic and Social Cooperation for Local Development Foundation, Inc. (Ecosoc) as the partner nongovernment organization for the projects without the benefit of public bidding.
Ecosoc was also allegedly unaccredited and unqualified to take on the projects.
Yet, Ipong and Cabral entered into a memorandum of agreement with Ecosoc for the purported implementation of his PDAF-funded projects under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan–Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-CIDSS) program.
DSWD officers were faulted for processing the release of the funds without carefully examining and verifying Ecosoc’s credentials.
Meanwhile, Ecosoc Executive Director Roberto Solon allegedly fabricated acceptance and delivery reports, disbursement reports, project proposals and other liquidation documents to “conceal the fictitious nature of the transaction.”
The charges consist of two counts of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, one count of malversation of public funds, and one count of the complex crime of malversation through falsification.
Ipong, Cabral, and Solon’s coaccused include then DSWD Undersecretary Mateo Montaño and chief accountant Leonila Hayahay. Prosecutors recommended that bail be set at a total of P140,000.
Separate charges for the alleged misuse of Ipong’s P9.6 million and P4.9 million allocations were filed in May and August. These cases are pending with the Sandiganbayan Third and Sixth Divisions, respectively.
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